Biology

Last updated: 1Β year, 3Β months ago


A broad and dynamic course that teaches from the molecular level right up to whole ecosystem interactions.

Course Resources

Here are some general resources related to Biology.

Overview

Overview πŸ”— The university applications page for Biology covers requirements, funding and careers, and the structure of the course (although this version of the course is still new so may be less specific).

Departmental Website πŸ”— This is the official Faculty webpage for prospective undergraduates, which links to various resources. The course overview πŸ”— is particularly useful for a more detailed degree structure, including a good video that briefly covers student’s perceptions of the course and their interviews for Biology. It also contains a list of colleges that offer Biology, with links to their external websites.

Alternative Prospectus πŸ”— Some elements may relate to an outdated course structure, but the FAQ section has some particularly useful advice.

More things to explore

The course has just been revamped into a 4-year MBiol degree, although progression to the final research project year is conditional on previous good grades and you can leave after 3 years with a BA if you want. The first year is all compulsory, but there is increasing opportunity to specialise as the degree progresses. There is a strong research skills focus, with labs, computer, and synthesis classes alongside your tutorials and lectures.

Day in the Life video πŸ”— 🌟 This video provides a useful account of a typical day in the life of an Oxford Biology student. Several Biology students regularly post YouTube videos, like this one by Eduardo πŸ”—. Please note that these students are taking a slightly older version of the Biology course, so may have a different structure and weekly timetable to the course currently being offered.

Interview with a Biology student πŸ”— 🌟 This short video by St John's College talks to a current Biology student about their experience of the course.

Oxford Podcasts πŸ”— These are recorded by the actual tutors you’ll be taught by if your application is successful, so it might be helpful to get interested in these and listen to some current research areas. In particular, try this series called 'Back Garden Biology' πŸ”— 🌟

Biology, Chemistry or Biochemistry podcast πŸ”— 🌟 Anyone uncertain about which course to choose at Oxford might benefit from this podcast comparing Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry - some information will be slightly out of date, since it was published in 2013, and now all 3 of these subjects are offered as integrated masters degrees, but the foundations of them remain the same.

Application Resources

Reading Lists πŸ”— 🌟 These are the reading lists for the papers that first-years take. Don’t be intimidated by how long they are; they’re intended to be worked through over the course of a full academic year, and honestly no one reads everything anyway. Also try this list πŸ”— 🌟 compiled by Balliol College Oxford, which is a great place to start if you want to read some popular biology books. There are some particularly useful recommendations for books on evolutionary biology, which is an overarching theme of the Biology degree at Oxford.

Student Q&As πŸ”— This page has Q&As with some Biology students that also cover the application process.

Admissions timeline πŸ”— A timeline for applications to Oxford.

Mock interview πŸ”— 🌟 The department has provided a 15-minute video of a mock interview for Biology with an undergraduate student.

Interview at Someville College πŸ”— This is another mock interview with a tutor at Somerville College (These are also good to get an idea of tutorial-style teaching!)

InsideUni Biology interview experiences πŸ”— 🌟 Current students talk about their interview experience, as well as sharing some tips. We’re biased, but we think they’re useful!